There are many reasons why Christians have hard times being Christians. I think one of these is PRESSURE. Yes pressure! It’s the pressure you meet every day wherever you go. It’s the pressure of being good, being correct, being godly – and you do this for the fear that you will not get right with God, your faith will be questioned, or you will not be accepted. So you’re praying, reading your Bible night and day, you’re in a small group, you fast, go to church every Sunday, does not lie or cheat. But why do you feel so less of yourself? Why do you feel so mad? And you feel like what you’ve done is not good enough? There could be pressures inside of you. And you’re afraid – so you try everything you could to make all things right. You thought that through the good works you do, you can earn God’s approval, and you feel much loved. You try to show to God you deserved something from Him.
You think that if you read your Bible every day or every hour, you think you’ll receive merit from God. That God will love you more if you read more. And If something is not good enough, you gonna do extra effort to balance it. And if you can’t make it, you feel you’re no longer loved, and God is going to hate you. It’s as if God is that immature. That if you’re wrong, He is going to hate you! That He is going to send His angels to punish you, and He is happy when you’re hurt. God does not think like a child! My nephew is four years old and he’s smart, but he cries every time. When he wants something, he would do everything to get it and if you’d stop him, he will start crying and say he hates you. God is not thinking or acting just like my nephew. God is not surprised of our mistakes, of our sins. God knew about it. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for us. Jesus made us right with God. It’s important that we know about the grace of God, so we’ll no longer have to work to earn God’s love and approval. He has given His grace for free. It’s His goodness we don’t deserve yet He gave. It is through the grace of God that we can now have the confidence to come to God, to approach Him not as servants, but as His children. When we’re wrong, did mistakes, we can go to Him and ask for forgiveness, and He will forgive us. His grace is sufficient for us. God doesn’t want us to be pressured. The reason why we do good things is because we’re already loved and blessed by God. We cannot do anything for it, it’s done for us – JESUS DID IT.
But grace is never an excuse to sin. The reason why you keep on sinning is because you haven’t understood grace. The Apostle Paul knew about this dilemma, that’s why he wrote in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Paul insisted that grace does not give us the license to sin, instead he wanted us to understand that because Jesus put sin to death, we who are united with Him also died to sin. In response to this, Verse 11 says, “…count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The grace that brought us to Jesus is the same grace that will sustain us and enable us to live out our purpose and be the children He wants us to become. We do have our standards and some things we do as Christians like going to church, reading the bible, joining small groups – but we should not pressure ourselves in being who God wants us to be. God does not want perfection but simply wants our obedience. Christianity should not be that complicated. That’s why Jesus summed it up into four words: Love God, Love Others.
Don’t be pressured!